1. Demonstrated Understanding Of Mission-Critical Business Functions
Your cybersecurity partner should commit to understanding your unique business value by operating in-step with your organization. They should learn your business systems, networks and assets and then design a security strategy around it. A trusted cybersecurity partner is able to collaborate closely with your team to allow the integration of data; this is crucial in ensuring the uninterrupted operation of mission-critical business functions.
It’s vital, therefore, that a trusted cybersecurity provider can consistently demonstrate their level of expertise when it comes to your preferred software. If your business runs on Microsoft, for example, you will need a specialized cybersecurity partner with proven expertise in Microsoft environments. That way, they can deliver the optimal combination of people, processes and applications to improve your security posture, as opposed to treating you just like any other client with cut-and-paste tools and approaches.
2. Commitment To Delivering Measurable Outcomes
When considering a cybersecurity partner, it’s important to lay out in clear detail what they will be accountable for. They should be able to commit to delivering daily, weekly or monthly performance metrics. Here are 10 relevant KPIs that your cybersecurity partner needs to deliver—
Intrusion Attempts Vs. Actual Security Incidents
Your cybersecurity provider should be reporting consistently on the enterprise’s existing vulnerabilities, the state of preparedness, and what responses have been logged to prevent an attack.
Mean Time To Detect (MTTD)
This is an important metric that answers how fast your cybersecurity provider can identify an attack in order to contain it with minimal damage.
Mean Time To Respond (MTTR)
Measures the time it takes to neutralize a threat and get systems back online. This is a critical metric because the longer an attack drags out, the higher the risks and costs become.
Mean Time To Contain (MTTC)
This metric refers to the average time required to shut down all attack vectors across all endpoints and minimize the probability of any further damage.
Unidentified Devices On The Network
An ability to discover and tag unidentified devices greatly reduces the odds that someone has unauthorized access to the network.
Patching Cadence And Effectiveness
Unpatched vulnerabilities are the easiest way for hackers to gain entry into critical systems. Consistent patch management also prevents common system failures like incompatible hardware issues with a patch, or a patch that installs well but breaks something else.
Training Outcomes For Your Employees
Human error is the leading cause of cyber security failures and a single unintentional error by an uneducated user can take it all down. Your cybersecurity partner should deliver training outcomes for your employees and codify the right online security behaviors to all members of the organization from the CEO down.
Security Risk Assessments
Maps out the risks and vulnerabilities of all data that is collected, stored and managed in your entire network. It identifies all the possible threats, such as intentional, unintentional, technical, non-technical and structural, that your business’ data is exposed to.
Regulatory Compliance Assessments
Measures the effectiveness of security controls to demonstrate full compliance. For example, the Security Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) lists down the administrative, physical and technical safeguards needed to secure the integrity of Protected Health Information (PHI). If your business is mandated to comply with HIPAA, your cybersecurity partner should consistently produce documented evidence of safeguards, or else, risk facing punitive action for non-compliance.
Competition and Industry Benchmark Data
A trusted cybersecurity provider helps businesses to establish cybersecurity performance benchmarks against their competitors and the industry at large, to enhance their security program and maintain a competitive edge.
3. Prepared For Disaster Recovery and Business Rehabilitation
Finally, a cybersecurity provider goes beyond expectations to become a “trusted” partner by helping to develop a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) for the businesses they serve. A DRP is a set of policies, tools, and protocols that enable the recovery or continuation of crucial technology infrastructure and systems in the event of a cyber attack.
Having a trusted cybersecurity partner that supports disaster recovery and business continuity, ensures that your organization is prepared for any eventuality that could cripple your business processes with significant downtime or data loss. And a company with a reliable disaster recovery plan stands a greater chance of fully recovering from even the most devastating incident.